Encouraging the Young

When your child decides to draw, paint, or color a picture, he or she should have the needed supplies in one place. You can help to assemble an “art supply box.”

Find a box large enough to hold the following items: Colored paper, pencils, crayons, a box. of paints, small child-type scissors, paste, ruler, rags, jars for paints, and newspaper. Included can be some cut-out shapes for tracing such as squares, triangles, circles, and rectangles.

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The box can be covered with contact paper or with drawings pasted on by your child. If you wish to buy a container for the supplies, a nice plastic dishpan will do.

With all the supplies at hand your child can do more than just draw pictures. If your child enjoys coloring books, put a couple in to serve as a learning guide for new shapes.

Let your child enjoy working without a lot of comĀ­ments from you. You should refrain from making remarks about what you think the work of art might be. You may be surprised to find that your interpretation is completely different from what was intended.

Your child will receive pleasure from creating. If a youngster creates art only to hear someone say “Oh, how beautiful!” then he finds someone is putting a value judgment upon the work. Let your child enjoy the work without worrying whether or not you are going to like it.

Give your child room to display pictures or cutouts. An unused kitchen door will work. Or, you can use the side of your refrigerator by holding pictures up with small magnets. Save your child’s pictures in folders or a flat box. Later you both can go through them together to see which ones can be saved.

Friends and relatives will certainly be happy to receive a series of pictures by your creative child. If there is a particular picture that is a favorite, have it framed for your child’s room. A daddy might love one for his office.

You may wonder what to do with the large paintings that come home from school. You can put them between two large flat pieces of cardboard which are taped together on one side. In this large “book” many works can be stored safely. This can be placed under a bed or behind a large piece of furniture.

When you consider your child’s artistic products, be gentle. Do not fall into the habit of being a constant critic. You may not be qualified to know what is good or bad art. Creative urges should be encouraged so that a person can develop his own talent without the fear of wondering what someone else will say about it.